|Centuries-long journey through the universe|
In the the previous passages, some verses of the Qur’an answered questions that it has taken some of the greatest physicists and astronomers of history centuries to answer. It was only in this century that they finally found the truth.
Mankind has studied the heavens and the earth for countless centuries. The Greeks were some of the first people to attempt to describe various cosmological phenomena. They gave us many of the very first theories regarding the universe and it's composition. The major contribution came with the writings of Plato. Plato claimed that the universe was created by what he called "The Demiurge." According to Plato, the universe was the result of reasoning and planning, it was constructed by the Demiurge upon precise mathematical and geometrical principles. Later on, Aristotle, Plato's student, adopted his teacher's basic concept. Aristotelian cosmology was based on the concept of an enclosed cosmos comprising a series of concentric, spheres revolving around a stationary Earth. Motion was provided by the "Prime mover" and, once initiated, would remain circular, uniform and eternal.
Both Plato and Aristotle taught that the universe was eternal, with neither beginning nor end. The universe as a whole was considered steady and unmoving, and this was the basis for the later formation of the "steady state theory." In 1915, Albert Einstein had published the famous general theory of relativity. Soon afterward he proposed a static model of the universe, but he would later declare that it was "one of the greatest mistakes of my career." Why?, Because in 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe, or as Stephen Hawking put it "The universe is not static, as had previously been thought, it was expanding."
Although mankind did not discover these facts till this 20th Century, still, we find that Allah Almighty had provided the answers for mankind 1400 years ago in the Qur'an through the agency of His illiterate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). During Muhammad's (pbuh) time, the Greeks were claiming that the cosmos was static and not expanding. So how did he know that the universe was expanding 1300 years before the foremost scientist of the West proved this to be a scientific fact?
However, this is not the only claim that the Qur'an makes with regard to the universe. Let us study the next two verses:
At the present time, the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is the cosmological model most widely accepted by astronomers. It holds that about 20,000,000,000 years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely condensed state of matter ("the heavens and the earth were fused then we ripped them asunder"). As mentioned above, a further development of this model, known as "Inflationary Theory," describes the original condensed matter as arising from virtually empty space. It was only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937 AD that the necessary observational precision was achieved in order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. Out of the observations of such scientists has arisen the so called "Hubble Constant" (Ho) which is quantity currently used to gauge the rate at which the universe is expanding. In other words, the issue is no longer whether the universe is expanding or not, rather, it is only a question of how fast it is expanding.
The second and third verses presented appear to claim that the heavens and the earth were once a single mass then were "ripped asunder," The exact root words used in the Qur'an are the words "ra-ta-qa" and "fa-ta-qa," or "the heavens and the earth were 'ra-ta-qa' then we 'fa-ta-qa' them"
"Ra-ta-qa" is an Arabic word which has the general meaning of "to fuse, to sew, to mend, to patch up, to repair." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 114, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 325)
Similarly, "fa-ta-qa" has the general meaning of "To rip, to undo sewing, to unstitch, to tear apart, to rend, to rip open." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 296, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 695)
The verse then goes on to say that Allah Almighty created the heavens and the earth from a celestial "smoke." Astronomers today have pictures of galaxies being formed by exactly this process, i.e., the condensation of spiraling celestial "mists." Isn't it an incredible coincidence that an illiterate man from the desert, without the aid of observatories or satellite imaging was making these claims over 1400 years ago?. Was he just guessing? Further, the cosmic phenomenon depicted in the following two figures is commonly referred to by astronomists as a cosmic "mist." However, if we were to read the second verse of the Qur'an presented above we will find that the Qur'an more accurately refers to it as a "smoke." This is because "mist" implies a cool and tranquil spray of water. However, "smoke" implies a hot gas containing airborne particles. This is indeed another example of the literary miracle of the Qur'an in that it manages to convey to us in a very concise language a very accurate and detailed description of the topic at hand.
"And those who have been given knowledge know that that which has been revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth"
"Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care) or are there locks upon their hearts?"
1) Dr. E. Marshall Johnson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and the Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA. Author of over 200 publications. Former President of the Teratology Society among other accomplishments. After studying the verses of the Qur'an he came to the following conclusion:
"The Qur'an describes not only the development of external form but emphasizes also the internal stages - the stages inside the embryo of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science... If I was to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described... I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place... so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved..."
2) Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson. Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor Collage of Medicine,
"... these Hadeeths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the writer'... It follows that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches... There exist statements in the Qur'an shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur'an having been derived from God."
3) Dr. T.V.N. Persaud. Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is the author and editor of 25 books, has contributed 31 chapters to publications, and has published over 180 scientific papers. In 1991 he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in
"Muhammad was a very ordinary man, he couldn't read, didn't know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate... were talking about 1400 years ago, you have some illiterate person making profound statements that are amazingly accurate, of a scientific nature... I personally can't see how this could be mere chance, there are too many accuracies and like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which lead him to these statements."
4) After a study which lasted ten years, the famous French physician Maurice Bucaille addressed the
"our knowledge of these disciplines is such, that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Qur'an could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modern times."
"From my studies and what I have learnt at this conference I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur'an 1400 years ago must be true. That can be proved the scientific way."
6) Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer. Professor and Coordinator of Medical Embryology in the Department of Cell Biology in the
7) Dr. Alfred Kroner, Professor of
8) Dr. Yoshiodi Kozan, Director of the observatory of
9) Dr. William Hay, Professor of Oceanography,
10) Dr. Pete Palmer, Professor of Geology,
11) Dr. Sayawida, Professor of Marine
12) Dr. Armstrong, Professor of Astronomy,
13) Dr. Draga Persaud Rauw, Professor of Marine Geology,
14) Dr. Schroeder, Professor of
The response of these scholars when presented with verses of the Qur'an in their field of specialization, varied. One thing however was always constant. They all confirmed the accuracy of the scientific statements made in the Qur'an, and they all could not explain how Muhammad (pbuh) could have known with such accuracy the scientific claims to be found in the Qur'an so many centuries before mankind discovered them to be scientific truths.
Allah Almighty tells us in the Qur'an:
"Allah did not create (all) that except in truth. He details the signs for people of knowledge."
"And those who were given knowledge see that which was sent down upon you by your Lord is the truth and guides to the path of the 'Exalted' (in Might) the 'worthy of all praise'."
"Had We sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder for fear of Allah. Such are the parables We put forth for mankind that they may reflect."
"Verily! this Qur'an guides to that which is most upright, and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness that theirs will be a great reward"
"And We have indeed simplified [the comprehension of] this Qur'an for remembrance, so is there any that will remember [and be admonished]?"